In the immediate area where I live, I’ve started noticing that there are less and less bicycle racks than ever before. It seemed like every grocery store had them and each shopping center used to have a designated area for them. But not I’m venturing out more for casual rides and to find places to eat/drink, I’m having a harder time finding a good place to lock my bike.
Take for example my trip to the grocery store, they used to have a HUGE bike rack. But now it’s gone. So I had to find some metal railing to lock my bike against. What’s interesting is, if I go do downtown Fullerton, the seems to be more of an acceptance to bicycles there. In fact there are actually quite a bit of 2-bike racks peppered around the area. I guess I just don’t get why in some areas, there are racks while others it’s absent.
"Look, this rack was nice enough to grow a roof for me!"
Yello mighty Bike Commuters! Mir.I.Am here working double duty as a green “snarchitect” and cycle lady today. As the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system is becoming more and more prosthetic… err, prolific in the states and abroad, snarchitects and designers are incentivized to provide more bike racks and showers for cycle monsters in their buildings. Here in Honolulu, all new construction projects that are publicly funded are required to meet a minimum requirement of LEED Silver rating. An easy way to contribute towards achieving a LEED rating for a building is to provide secure bike rack parking close to the building entrance and showers for a percentage of the occupants! Not all LEED rated buildings are required to provide this amenity, but it is usually included… (secret fist pump under my desk each time I get to nerd out and specify bike racks at work!)
Crowded "Bike" bike racks in Waikiki
Of course, as bike commuters, we know that the statement “If you build it, they will come (by bike and then take a shower)” is not necessarily true! New racks and showers for buildings may not transform cities into Mini-Apples overnight, but it’s a chest-bump in the right direction. As we all know, not all bike racks are created equal, and not all cyclists are equally enthusiastic about showering after a commute… Sometimes I spice it up at work and arrive looking like I drank a bottle of Sriracha on the way over and don’t change into my office attire until my 4:00pm meeting, but that’s just me! SRIRACHA FACE!!!! Witch hazel in your swamp crotch isn’t for everyone.
Architects and builders listen up, straight from the mouth of the cycle monsters, here are some of our fave bike racks that help us commuters LOCKitUP!
Most Bikely Bike Rack: Dero Bike Bike Rack – nothing screams bike rack like a bike-shaped rack! These are the ones installed by the city and county of Honolulu around the island. They can hold up to four bikes unless some idiot has locked their moped to it illegally. It works well in situations where you have lots of long skinny space, like sidewalks. I like them because the height of the “wheels” makes it easy to tie up your steed through the rear wheel and triangle of the frame. I have seen some bikes fallen over next to these racks that have been only loosely cabled. My only gripe is sometimes the are positioned a little too close to the street side and you have to squeeze in between parked cars ad the rack to try to get to your bike. http://www.dero.com/products/bike_bike_rack/bike_bike_rack.html
Easy to spot from faraway, functional for multiple locking points, AND fun for Japanese tourist photo ops!
Green is the new Black Rack: Dero Recycle Rack made from 96% Recycled steel rebar! As you can see, the racks come in two shapes: bush or tree. Always a plus for bush-hugging architects like myself. (I’m over hugging trees, that’s so 2010). Steel rebar rack holds up to two bikes. The loops onthe tree seems small to me in the photo as I’ve never used one personally. However the steel rebar has a much smaller diameter than most racks so maybe they would work well for cycle monsters using mini U-locks for their frames. This is a smaller rack than most and requires only one connection point to the concrete, which could be advantageous for designers with tight space planning requirements. http://www.dero.com/products/recycle_racks/
From the Dero website… where’s the lock!?
Stealthy Designer Bike Rack: Forms+Surfaces Olympia Bike Rack is a nice choice for a bike rack that can double as a bollard! For designers that want something more discrete and architectural (read: no wavy racks or fence racks), Forms+Surfaces also carries a variety of options. Maybe this one is a little too discrete, but seasoned bike commuters know how to lock it up in any situation (in a tree, top of a chainlink fence, handrails or my favorite is a fat crippled horse). I personally prefer anything with a vertical post so I can loop a cable through the front wheel, helmet, and use the vertical post to secure the frame and the back wheel in my U-lock. http://www.forms-surfaces.com/olympia-bike-rack. Looks like the slot in the center leaves room for pedals and keeps your ride on all two wheels. Ooooh, rack envy:
Who taught this doofus how to lock a bike!?
What Makes a Nice Rack: And because it is 1:30 am Pacific Grandma Time and I only have one brain (currently maxed out on MSG/noodle/rice overload), here is a cut and paste to an article for those of you interested in reading about how to choose a nice bike rack for your next building. Check it out if you have the energy to click here. If you have a lot of energy and some friends over, you can read it aloud since reading is not really a spectator sport.
Ok Bike Commuters, paste some links into the comments box if you have any opinions on your hometown racks, your fave place to LOCKitUP around your neck o the hoods, or maybe what you don’t like in a rack! Us architects and designers would be much obliged….
Here are the specs for the Pannier:
MARKET PANNIER (deluxe grocery bag pannier) – It’s like a deluxe grocery pannier, only it’s so much more. This is a great bag for errands, commuting (drop your briefcase right inside), and visiting your favorite market. The easy-on and off mounting, long handles and a shoulder strap make it convenient to bring inside, and a large cinch-down flap keeps your stuff covered on the road.
* 1250 Cubic inch capacity (sold individually)
* Roughly the size of a paper grocery bag 15″ H x 13″ L x 8″ W
* Heavy-duty 3mm polymer frame on back and bottom to prevent sagging
* Reinforcement panels in all wear areas
* Cinch-down flap keeps load covered and secure
* Side straps adjust support and fold pannier closed when not used
* Inside zipper pocket for keys and cash
* Available March 2007
* MSRP: $44.99
Specs on the rack:
Wald bicycle racks offer a simple rear rack design for easy use. Lightweight yet sturdy construction with simple mounting points located at eyelets near the rear axle and the brake mount. The 215 works perfectly with our innovative 582 rear folding basket.
Available in plated (215) and black powder coat (215BL) finish.
Here are some product shots of the pannier and rack after a weekend of carrying loads for the Sea Otter Classic show in Monterey:
Close ups on how it mounts to the rack:
Cargo capacity: my Crocs, gloves, rain jacket and other junk. The pannier can hold a standard paper bag. But with this pannier, you don’t need a paper bag since it has straps and handles that you can use as a grocery bag — what a great way to go Green.